Originally posted by @sh76
I'm sure engineers in Communist countries are every bit as capable as engineers in other countries.
But without the profit motive, their skills are mostly wasted, at least on the large scale.
"I'm sure engineers in Communist countries are every bit as capable as engineers in other countries."
I have noticed common Western condescension toward even an aircraft designer such as Andrei Tupolev.
He was confident (and probably right) that he could design a bomber as good as the Boeing B-29.
But Stalin ordered him to reverse-engineer the B-29. By the way, the Tupolev Tu-4 is
NOT a copy of the B-29, though it's clearly adapted from B-29s that landed in the USSR.
The USSR had reasons to use its best engineers to design tanks rather than cars for civilians.
Without the T-34 tank, the RKKA might have lost the war.
"But without the profit motive, their skills are mostly wasted, at least on the large scale."
Some great scientific or technological achievements have made without any profit motive.
Starting in 1967, China launched Project 523, aiming at developing new drugs to treat malaria.
It succeeded in developing the most effective drug ever known against malaria.
As far as I know, China never bothered to claim international patent protection for artemisinin,
so it could be manufactured inexpensively abroad (without paying any royalties to the Chinese).
Indeed, for a long time Westerners rarely gave any credit to the Chinese for developing it.
(Some Westerners even claimed that artemisinin was a Western invention 'stolen' by the Chinese!)
Given that a Nobel Prize cannot be awarded posthumously, I used to suspect that Tu Youyou
(a Chinese medical researcher) would die before her work would be recognized enough in the West.
Fortunately in 2015, at the age of 84, she received (a shared) Nobel Prize in Medicine.
By the way, Tu Youyou never has expressed any resentment about not becoming wealthy
(at least before the Nobel Prize money). She's not as driven by a 'profit motive' as Sh76.
Would Sh76 like to cite any Western capitalist corporations who would have spent the money
to develop new drugs against malaria, mostly for the benefit of poor non-Westerners?